Studies show that the ability to persevere in the face of challenges is pretty important to accomplish goals. External distractions are difficult enough to deal with, but mastering internal distractions may be even more challenging. Managing our own endless ability to distract ourselves is a key part of increasing productivity. As James Shelley says, “very often when we talk about the skill of “productivity” what we are really talking about is “self-control” — the disciplined ability to choose to do one thing at the cost of not doing another (perhaps more tempting thing).”
Grit Is More Important Than Talent from 99u describes The Marshmallow Test study on self control, and results from Harvard researcher Angela Duckworth, who defines grit as “the perseverance and passion for a long-term goal.”
Angela Duckworth has developed a grit scale to test this ability. I’m afraid to take it. Personally, I can really identify with Greg Haffley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies and books. If you’re wimpy like me, grit can definitely be a problem. So I was glad to see this is an ability that can be developed.
Transcript of Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk, “The Key to Success: Grit”
Things to Do to Develop Grit
- Three steps from The Power of True Grit at Life ReImagined: 1) Choose Your Grit 2) Surround Yourself With Grit Masters 3) Stay on the Gitty Road, No Matter What It Takes.
- An excerpt from Jon Acuff’s book “Do Over” at Brazen Careerist outlines a Strategy to Embrace the Work Tasks You Hate. Acknowledge that there are tasks you hate to do with a Grit List, and if they must be done, commit to doing them anyway. Some say that it’s best to tackle those things first to get them out of the way.
- Get focused: Review your Unique Value Proposition and Projects, pick your priorities and keep your goals visual and visible.
- Get better at estimating the amount of time projects will take: Five Tips To Help You Estimate How Much Time a Project Will Take.
- Change your Mindset.
- Practice 10 Positive Habits to develop grit.
- Get motivated and stay on task.
It’s time now for me to Grit going!